With the Rosanero in a rut and the transfer window still open for a few more weeks, the front office tandem of Maurizio Zamparini and Luca Cattani have been hard at work to bring in reinforcements. Despite not being a priority, Palermo snatched up Inter and Genoa co-owned goalkeeper (and Azzurri international) Emiliano Viviano – who was rehabbing at Inter from a knee injury he suffered several months back.
The Rosanero smartly bought Genoa’s half of the player’s contract for around €5 million. While the price seems high for just half of a keeper’s contract, the two clubs came to an agreement with Palermo paying the difference between Cesare Bovo (who was on a forced loan and buy) and Emiliano Viviano meaning the club is estimated to have spent about €1 million for his services. A good deal perhaps, but was it the right one? With Francesco Benussi, Alexandros Tzorvas and Jack Brichetto more than capable of handling the goalkeeper duties, grabbing a goalkeeper was not the most pressing issue that Palermo needed to address. Nevertheless, with Viviano in the fold, he’ll assume the number one duties as soon as he’s fully fit.
Meanwhile, the search for midfield help had taken many different avenues before one was eventually signed. After attempting to bring in Arevalo Rios, Angelo Palombo and Luca Rigoni, the Rosanero finally secured the services of a midfielder in Bari captain Massimo Donati. Apparently, a personal request of Bortolo Mutti, Palermo signed him for under €1 million while there is an option to send one of Adam Simon or another youngster to Bari on loan. The move does not necessarily spark the same amount of enthusiasm that the likes of a Palombo or Rios would provide for obvious reasons. Donati has been a journeyman of sorts with several longer lasting stints at Atalanta, Celtic and most recently Bari. It remains to be seen what kind of impact he’ll have in the midfield beyond being another option. He does have experience and has been a leader while at Bari.
With two more players brought in, Palermo still has a lot of work to do in order to ensure a better half of the season and Serie A safety. The Rosanero desperately need a regista if Bacinovic cannot regain the form he exhibited last year (or if he’s sold in this window). Furthermore, a true defensive partner not named Migliaccio would help both areas of the field at once. Carlos Labrin, the young defender who was on loan at Novara has returned to the Sicilian side, but he does not seem to be the answer (he should spend most of his time between the Primavera and the first team). There is no time to waste given all that is on the line. The club needs to right the ship and to do that they’ll need all able-bodied hands on deck. Forza Palermo!
Side note: check out my article over at Football Italiano on the current situation at Palermo